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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov 25, 2011 / 28 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

The Grover Norquist tax myth

By Charles Krauthammer




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Democrats are unanimous in charging that the debt-reduction supercommittee collapsed because Republicans refused to raise taxes. Apparently, Republicans are in the thrall of one Grover Norquist, the anti-tax campaigner, whom Sen. John Kerry called “the 13th member of this committee without being there.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid helpfully suggested “maybe they should impeach Grover Norquist.”

With that, Norquist officially replaces the Koch brothers as the great malevolent manipulator that controls the republic by pulling unseen strings on behalf of the plutocracy.

Nice theory. Except for the following facts:


  • Sen. Tom Coburn last year signed on to the Simpson-Bowles tax reform that would have increased tax revenue by $1 trillion over a decade.

  • During the debt-ceiling talks, House Speaker John Boehner agreed to an $800 billion revenue increase as part of a Grand Bargain.

  • Supercommittee member Pat Toomey, a Club for Growth Republican, proposed increasing tax revenue by $300 billion as part of $1.2 trillion in debt reduction.

Leading, very conservative Republicans proposing tax increases. So why does the myth of the Norquist-controlled anti-tax monolith persist? You might suggest cynicism and perversity. Let me offer a more benign explanation: thickheadedness — the inability to tell the difference between tax revenue and tax rates.

In deficit reduction, all that matters is tax revenue. The holders of our national debt care not a whit what tax rates yield the money to pay them back. They care about the sum.



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The Republican proposals raise revenue, despite lowering rates, by opening a gusher of new income for the Treasury in the form of loophole elimination. For example, the Toomey plan eliminates deductions by $300 billion more than the reduction in tax rates “cost.” Result: $300 billion in new revenue.

The Simpson-Bowles commission — appointed by President Obama and endorsed by Coburn — used the same formula. Its tax reform would lower tax rates at a “cost” of $1 trillion a year while eliminating loopholes that deprive the Treasury of $1.1 trillion a year. This would leave the Treasury with an excess — i.e., new tax revenue — of $100 billion a year, or $1 trillion over a decade.

Raising revenue through tax reform is better than simply raising rates, which Democrats insist upon with near religious fervor. It is more economically efficient because it eliminates credits, carve-outs and deductions that grossly misallocate capital. And it is more fair because it is the rich who can afford not only the sharp lawyers and accountants who exploit loopholes but the lobbyists who create them in the first place.

Yet the Democrats, who flatter themselves as the party of fairness, are instead obsessed with raising tax rates on the rich as a sign of civic virtue. This is perverse in three ways:

(1) Raising rates gratuitously slows economic growth, i.e., expansion of the economic pie for everyone, by penalizing work and by retaining inefficiency-inducing loopholes.

(2) We’re talking pennies on the dollar. Obama’s coveted repeal of the Bush tax cuts would yield the Treasury, at the very most, $80 billion a year — offsetting 2 cents on the dollar of government spending ($3.6 trillion).

(3) Hiking tax rates ignores the real drivers of debt, which, as Obama himself has acknowledged, are entitlements.

Has the president ever publicly proposed a single significant structural change in any entitlement? After Simpson-Bowles reported? No. In his February budget? No. In his April 13 budget “framework”? No. During the debt-ceiling crisis? No. During or after the supercommittee deliberations? No.

Indeed, Obama was AWOL from the supercommittee — then immediately pounced on its failure by going on TV to repeat his incessantly repeated campaign theme of the do-nothing (Republican) Congress.

A swell slogan that fits nicely with the Norquist myth. Except for another inconvenient fact: It is the Republicans who passed — through the House, the only branch of government they control — a real budget that cut $5.8 trillion of spending over the next 10 years. Obama’s February budget, which would have increased spending, was laughed out of the Senate, voted down 97 to 0. As for the Democratic Senate, it has submitted no budget at all for 2.5 years.

Who, then, is do-nothing? Republicans should happily take on this absurd, and central, Democratic campaign plank. Bring Simpson-Bowles to the House floor and pass the most radical of its three deficit-reduction alternatives.

Dare the Senate Democrats to vote down the grandest of all bargains. Dare Obama to veto his own debt commission. Dare the Democrats to actually do something about debt.


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